How Did My Private Investigator Become A PI?

, | 30/08/2019


Being a private investigator can be a challenging and rewarding career. PI’s are useful to a variety of people for a variety of purposes including locating missing people, conducting background checks, collecting information in civil disputes and gathering evidence on infidelity. They may work regular 9-5 or work odd hours including nights, weekends and holidays. Often private investigators work together with law enforcement, but many serve their own private clients directly.


Requirements of becoming a private investigator vary by country and even by province, but many go through a process that one would go through to obtain any other kind of job. To become a top-notch, resourceful and trusted private investigator, many individuals pursuing this career complete a degree in a related field, primarily criminal justice, to gain a background in the subject area.

In order to become a licensed private investigator in Ontario, one must complete a 50-hour training course either online or in-class. This course should be taken with a trusted and established private investigative company and then confirmed with the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services (MCSCS). Topics your PI covers in this course include industry background, provincial and federal law, criminal and civil law, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, ethics and investigative techniques.

After the course is completed, the PI must pass an exam to ensure they are prepared for the job and obtain a completion number and a certificate of completion. Once this is done, the individual can apply for their license with the MCSCS. Often private investigators choose to pursue additional certification to specialize in areas of interest or to specialize in areas where their talent lies.


Once a PI obtains their license, they can work for any investigative agency in Ontario. A licensed PI can work with businesses (i.e. law firms, insurance firms, corporations) or with individuals case by case. Obtaining a license through the province increases trustworthiness, effectiveness and ability of a PI and therefore makes them more employable. The average private investigator in Canada makes a salary of $40,000, while more experienced investigators can make upwards of $80,000.


Characteristics of excellent private investigators include discipline, honesty, discretion and attentiveness and they have advanced technological, observation, communication and analytical skills. Former law enforcement, military, paralegals and photographers are just a few examples of professionals that may end up pursuing a career in private investigation.

To learn more, contact Investigation Hotline at 416-205-9114 or Speak with the Experts Now